SDSA Caribbean Rally
November 1, 2024 departure Hampton, VA and October 30, Newport, RI (weather permitting)

Registration 

Fees & What's Included

Passage Discussion
Required Equipment
Newport Departure
Antigua Arrival Activities
Bahamas Arrival Activities
Crew Service
Predict Wind
Rally FAQs
Volunteer to Help

The largest rally leaving the US East Coast each fall is the Caribbean Rally hosted by the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, the fleet departs from Hampton VA or Newport RI, to head offshore to points south. 

It is not only the largest organized flotilla of cruisers leaving the US East Coast for the Caribbean—but the most fun.  The Caribbean Rally helps sailors arrive safely in the Caribbean and opens the door to new lifelong friends and experiences while cruising.

Where will you head this fall?  The Caribbean Rally provides you a choice of destinations. While the bulk of the fleet heads to Antigua, some choose to make landfall in the Abacos in the Bahamas.

In 2024 Hampton departing boats do not have an official stopover in Bermuda, read more here.

Whatever your destination, you will have the full support of SDSA either way.  If you’re considering cruising the Caribbean, read this article by Bob Osborn, Rally Director, A Case for Making Landfall in Antigua.

Bob also gave a recent presentation about what is like to visit Antigua and cruise the islands south to Grenada, the southern portion of the Lesser Antilles.

 

VHF radio and offshore communications equipment is required. Note: In 2024, the only accepted tracking devices are the Garmin inReach family and the Zoleo Communicator. Please read the updated equipment requirements here.  A limited number of Zoleo trackers will be available for rental. See this article for more details.

The modest rally fee includes weather routing by Chris Parker of the Marine Weather Center as well as 24/7 position tracking by PredictWindAdditionally, all rally boats will be tracked day and night for the duration of the rally and our shoreside emergency response team is available to assist in the event of offshore emergencies.

New for the 2024 Caribbean rally, all boats will have round the clock comprehensive “concierge” style 24/7 emergency medical support from GW Maritime Medical Service from George Washington University, included with your rally fee. Additionally, each skipper will have the opportunity to work with GWMMS in advance of departure to prepare a comprehensive pharmaceutical and emergency aid kit to ensure that you are prepared to deal with many emergencies while underway.

Once accepted into the rally and rally fees are paid, you will have access to extensive information to help you prepare for a safe passage, including information about your destination and arrival plans.

Questions?  Need more information?  Reach out to Bob Osborn, Rally Director, at [email protected] or for Bahamas specific questions contact Allen Roberts, Bahamas Port Captain, at [email protected].

Events begin about a week prior in Hampton, VA and boats gather for final boat and crew preparation, seminars, social events and weather briefings. 

A highlight of these events will be a live Search and Rescue (SAR) with a USCG J-Hawk helicopter, right out in front of the Marina where our events are to be held. It is an amazing experience to see and hear this display, a spectacle that you will not soon forget.

 

Departure is scheduled for November 1 from Hampton and October 30 from Newport, weather permitting.  Each Captain is expected to make the best decision for his crew and boat when picking a departure date.  Passage time for boats headed from Hampton to the Bahamas averages 4-6 days, and the boats traveling the 1400 NM to Antigua generally arrive in 10-14 days. 

Don't forget to stay in touch with the Salty Dawgs on Facebook; Salty Dawg Sailing and Friends

Rally participants, both skippers and crew will also have the opportunity to participate in a dedicated rally forum where questions and plans can be shared with other rally participants and experts. Details are available to registered boats and crew. 

The SDSA unites experienced ocean sailors with developing cruisers to broaden their blue water horizons.  All Salty Dawg rallies and events are led by seasoned sailors who volunteer their time and knowledge to help cruisers realize their dreams. For those skippers that feel that they need additional support in preparing for the voyage, SDSA has a large list of experienced mentors that will work with you as needed for no additional fee.

FRIENDS OF THE CARIBBEAN RALLY 

Admirals Inn (Antigua)Antigua National Park Nelson's DockyardAntigua Yacht ClubHampton Marina HotelVisitors Bureau Hampton VAThe Club at AYC (Antigua)Jolly Harbor MarinaNorth Sails Antigua, West MarineHampton Convention & Visitor Bureau

SALTY DAWG RALLY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

All Salty Dawg rallies and events are led by seasoned sailors who volunteer their time and knowledge to help cruisers realize their dreams.   If you would like to join us as a volunteer, we would love to benefit from your passion, personality, and expertise as we plan future events.  Contact Us to Volunteer.

 

Helpful Links

Sailing with Kids 
Sailing with Pets

COVID-19 and the Fall Caribbean Rally:   "Safety and Participation"

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the SDSA will continue to explore the best ways to conduct its activities in as safe and enjoyable a manner as possible. Read More

Heading south?  The Dawgs will be waiting for you.